Name, Image, and Likeness deals, or NIL for short may soon be making its way into North Carolina High School Athletics. You may be familiar with NIL due to its relatively recent introduction into college athletics. NIL has received mixed reviews for good reason. And let me first preface this by saying I absolutely believe college athletes should be able to profit off of their brand. I believe they should be able to take part in engagements where they sign autographs. I am in favor of them being able to sell merchandise and the school’s jerseys with the players’ names on them that the players financially benefit from. And I think they should be able to do social media deals the same way influencers, many of whom are also in college, do. I even support more widespread marketing campaigns for example with major companies like Nike or Gatorade.
NIL In North Carolina High School Athletics
But there needs to be limits on it. How that gets reigned in at the point, I don’t know. But schools being able to essentially buy players on alumni and donors dimes only increases the disparity in college athletics. The NFL has a salary cap, colleges should have to abide by regulations as well. All of this to say, that if we are going to introduce this into high school athletics, shouldn’t we clean up the glaring issues first? QC News is reporting that board members of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association will be discussing the proposal this week. Discussions will take place today, Tuesday, and Wednesday at the Association in Chapel Hill.
You can read the full proposed policy here. Highlights include that athletes would be able to profit from their autographs, promotional activities, as well brands that they personally own. The student-athletes would be prohibited from profiting off of gambling sites, tobacco products, alcohol, or adult entertainment. They would also need parental approval before participating in NIL. Do I think the same issues created by NIL (simultaneously with the transfer portal but that’s another rant) in college will trickle down to college? It’s unlikely. And if it does it won’t be near as widespread. While high schools recruit to a degree, it’s not in the same way college coaches do. The availability of funds is also limited and the interests of donors are a fraction of the NCAA.
Let High School Be High School
These are also high school kids. If they are good enough to get endorsement deals in high school, they can in college. High schools aren’t profiting off these kids the way universities do. High School athletics while a stepping stone to college athletics, are more about the experience. Sure if they want to do social media endorsements or sponsored posts like other students potentially can- let them. But full-blown NIL? I’m not in favor. Many of you may disagree, which is your right. It will be interesting to see where these discussions lead this week. Do you think NIL will be approved for North Carolina high school athletics? Should it be?